Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Quilting, knitting and enjoying the countryside

Completed shawl neck cabled jumper
Well, since my last post there has been a completed project - this cabled jumper. The pattern dates from 1989 and the yarn has languished in my stash for rather too long. There wasn't quite enough, hence the decision to add the brown for the shawl collar. The two yarns are the same make and vintage, luckily. The jumper is really cosy to wear too.

Taking up an abandoned project
I started this one back in 2011, so it has been hiding away in my knitting bag for far too long. I had completed the back and half of one front when I got bored with it. Now I am half way up the second front. It will be a sleeveless waistcoat. The pattern is from the Rowan Classic 4ply designs for men and women. The designs are by Martin Storey and the yarn used is no longer available - it is Rowan's Cashsoft 4ply. An unusual purchase for me since I very rarely buy the wool suggested by a knitting pattern. The colours chosen are my own and not that used in the original pattern. The design is called Rosamund.

Close up of some of the pattern
I've also been out walking too. My long suffering dog Ella by my side.She loves the walks, but hates the idea of being the subject of photographs.

Walkies
Hence the look on her furry face.

My long suffering companion

We had stopped by the river, opposite the weir shown in the photo above. It is a lovely spot with a bench. Perfect for a short stop to sit and admire the scenery.

I have no photos of the quilting as yet. Not any that I can share. The project is the result of a challenge and it needs to be completed before being shared with the NWCQ group. I wrote about it here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

More dressmaking

Collection of cotton interlock jersey ready to use
It has been another busy week here - sadly, I can only tell you about the sewing I'ver done for myself rather than the Christmas presents. These lovely fabrics above came from fabworks.co.uk. A company I heartily recommend.

Kwik Sew 2900 - first version
The fabric for my blue top and the green one also arrived from Fabworks. Comfy fabrics, nice and warm. The first version was made exactly as the pattern. I found it a little too roomy and the neck rather lower than I like. So, the green one was made slightly differently with a seam allowance of half an inch rather than the quarter inch required by the pattern. I also doubled the height of the neck. I am much happier with this version.

Kwik Sew 2900 -  version 2
So much so, that I am wearing it as I write this post. You might remember the knitted waistcoat and the skirt with the pockets which were made some time ago.

A me made day

Another top waiting to be sewn
Thi is now waiting for attention, but might have to wait until after Christmas before I can make a start. Another design found in the Love Sewing magazine, issue 34. The sweatshirt has a really interesting lace insert at the shoulder. The design comes from Anna Bruce at Madeit Patterns. The fabrics come from Fabworks. A fleece backed sweatshirting and ribbed fabric.

A new cover for my overlocker
The plastic cover for my overlocker fell apart recently. Using the bits as a pattern I replaced it with a bright and cheerful version made from a scrap of fabric in my stash. This is all that remains of some fabric used years back for beanbags used by my daughters.

My overlocker
My overlocker is currently having a well earned rest before the next project - that sweatshirt. Unless someone needs something else making first.........

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dressmaking and knitting

My finished cowl top
There has been a lot of dressmaking going on over the past couple of weeks. I finished this cowl top after finding the design in issue 28 of "Love Sewing". I also made myself a black camisole to wear underneath since that front drape is extremely low. Both fabrics were found in my stash, which was rather useful.
The magazine article
I now need a pair of dressy black trousers to wear with it. My old ones are becoming rather shabby since they were bought some years ago.

A very nearly disastrous pair of culottes got completed and has been worn a number of times - so cosy and comfortable. I mentioned this briefly in my last post here you may recall. I had cut out the fabric without adding any seam allowances. The pattern originally came from a Burda Style magazine from 2015. Luckily there was a rather large dart in the back of each leg and a large pleat at the front of each leg. Reducing both of these gave me sufficient fabric to complete these, ready to be worn. I didn't have any material left over to remake these since the fabric was a remnant in my stash. Unfortunately, photos are difficult since these are a dark charcoal grey. Such a very stupid thing to do, but I seem to have got away with it.

Finished culottes

I also finished this rather useful and comfortable pinafore dress. The pattern came free with another magazine - the first issue of "Sew Now". I added a second pocket since I would have become rather irritated with only having a single pocket to the right hand side. Again. another piece of grey fabric from my stash.  A very practical colour, but not one that photographs very well in the dull weather we are having at present.

Zoe dress pattern


Completed Zoe with added pocket
I went on to make a couple of "Breton" tops with the pattern in my copy of "From Stitch to Style". These should be nice useful tops for the Spring and early summer. I can wear them now with a light polo necked top underneath for added warmth.

Breton top 
   The first one is a viscose jersey which I picked up in the          remnants section of a fabric shop some months ago.

  The second is cotton interlock jersey which I picked up from   the Quilt Festival at the NEC in Birmingham in August. This   came from Mauds Fabric Finds.

Second Breton top








Interlock cotton jersey waiting to be cut out
These two pieces of fabric are waiting to be cut out and sewn to be added to my winter wardrobe. I intend making the long sleeved polo neck version to help keep me warm. The fabric comes from a selection at Fabworks. I have my overlocker out and ready to start, but have a few Christmas presents to finish first. I hope you will forgive me if I don't share images of those. At least not until after Christmas.
Continuing work on cabled jumper
I'm currently merrily knitting a vintage 1989 cable pattern for a shawl neck jumper. The front is complete and the back is nearing that stage too. The yarn has been in my stash for some time, so it is good to feel that it is no longer languishing in a box. I'm not sure who will be wearing this when it is complete since my husband seems to rather like it...... Ah well, perhaps we can share this one.
Tizzy - completed top
A short while ago I finished this top. The design is by Martin Storey and dates from the time he was working for Jaeger. I used a pale blue yarn which had originally be a short sleeved cardigan. I really didn't like the cardi much, so ripped it back a few years ago. After quite some time hidden away in a box, the yarn has been reused to make this useful little top.

My aim at the moment is to use up as much stash fabric and yarn as I can. I am allowing myself some new fabric, but only if it is the kind of fabric not found in my rather larger stash. I am hoping to eventually make some more space in my cupboards. That way I might even be able to find new homes for some of my bulkier books.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Whoops! Been busy......


Old print cover for my small print board
I finally got round to replacing the cover on my small print board last week. This is the rather nice accidental patterning the old cover had. Rest assured I shall not be discarding this. I'm not entirely sure what I will do with it since I really don't want to cut it. Well, not yet.

All three print boards ready to go
You can see the small board with it's new cover sitting in front of my two larger boards. All ready to go. I just need a bit of time to settle down and enjoy a few hours printing.

My garden this morning
It really is autumnal outside now. The leaves were down on the grass this morning, making quite a colourful show.

Yarnbombing?
I spent last weekend in Harrogate with my sister. We went to the Knitting and Stitching Show. It was great fun. Walking around the town on Saturday we saw that the statues on top of the shopping centre were sporting knitted scarves and hats. Delightful.

Reprinted vintage patterns
I bought quite a lot of things at the show, taking a shopping list with me to make sure I didn't forget anything. My list was quite a long one this time since I haven't visited this show in a couple of years, but I still managed to buy some things which I really didn't need. These three patterns, for example. I really couldn't resist. The skirt pattern reminds me of a skirt I loved to wear years ago. It was such a comfy design. I lost that skirt long before I knew anything about making patterns to copy existing favourites. I'd been planning to buy the top pattern, but never got round to it. The 1930s evening dress I really fancy making, but cannot think where I would ever be able to wear it................ It is such an interesting design.

Indie patterns
Then I saw these patterns on this stand. The reversible pinny is such a popular design amongst so many people I meet. I just had to try it for myself. The coat will be really useful, but I think I shall make it with full length sleeves.

Samples for felting experiments

More samples for felting
I really couldn't leave these wool samples. The top collection was found on the International Feltmakers stand at the show. The lower set were collected from this stand. We had a really interesting chat to the man selling the yarn and the different fibres. I intend working on the International Feltmakers CiFT foundation course, and these will give me the impetus to get started. As a course, it is intended to give feltmakers the experience of trying a variety of different wools and other fibres amidst different techniques.

More purchases
These few purchases were to add to my collection of clips, knitting books and also the printing/dyeing stuffs I have at home. One thing I plan to do is work with thickened procian dyes, so the powders will help with that.


Vintage patterns
I really can't resist vintage patterns, so added more to my collection from the stand of Judith Mansfield books. Sadly they don't do mail order and don't have a website. The Vogue pattern dates from 1953, while the two Simplicity patterns date from 1972 and 1975. The last pattern is undated, but is such a lovely simple design and is possibly from the 1940s.

After leaving the show we were ready to just collapse in a heap, so retreated to the B&B we were staying in. Luckily it was a quick walk up the hill away from the show. 

The following day we went round my favourite charity shops in Harrogate. More vintage patterns:

Trouser patterns - clockwise - patterns dated 1986, 1996, 2001
 Some lovely bits and pieces I really couldn't leave behind:

Linen tray cloths, silk hankies and buttons

A rather interesting book which might just get me started in using my knitting machine:


My bags were extremely heavy by the end of our stay.

What else have I been doing? Well, I gave a couple of talks, put up an exhibition, completed some dressmaking projects too. The last of these is a pair of culottes which should be finished later today. I made the classic error of cutting them out without adding any seam allowance........... It would have been disastrous had it not been for the deep dart on the back and the large pleat at the front of the legs. A bit of tinkering about and I think they should fit well. An interesting problem, and one mistake I really shouldn't have made. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Giving a talk, being part of an exhibition and finishing things

Giving a talk - table full of items to show
A few days after my last post here, I was at Pinfold giving a talk. Since around half of the group had heard me talk about my quilts already, I decided to bring along a wide range of the other bits and pieces I mess around with. You can see a selection of quilts hiding in the quilted bags sitting on the floor. The table holds books and embroideries I have made over the years, a few three dimensional items too - my fish and a couple of teddies. I think it went well. The variety and quantity seemed to surprise people.

Making print blocks
Since the talk, I have been steadily working towards getting items completed for the Pinfold exhibition which took place on Saturday. You can see a few photos of the exhibition here. I have been a member of this group for some months now, but this is the first time I have been able to exhibit with them. The first piece of work being my journal quilts. I had the final four to complete.

The first thing I needed to do was to make some print blocks.

Completed print blocks
Then, after preparing four pieces with a blue gelliplate print, I got the printing done. Different shades of green. The added squares needed to be orange.

Overprinting a gelliplate print
After leaving these pieces to dry, it was time to get on with the free machine embroidery. I really enjoy doing this, using my bright lamps to augment the light from the machine itself.

Free machine work
You can just see the orange squares which have been bondawebbed in place towards the back of this photo.

Completed journal quilts on show
I managed to get the final four JQs finished in time for the exhibition. Here they are, hanging in place. They are in date order with the top line being January, February, March and April. The middle layer are May, June, July and August. The bottom layer has September, October, November and December. These are held together with safety pins, so I really need to sort out whether to permanently link these together.

Display of Whispers challenge books.
This lovely table shows the collection of Pinfold Chinese Whisper Challenge books. My book is right at the very back with my journal detailing the challenge being the orange book beside it.

African quilt peeking around the corner - beautiful challenge quilts by Pinfold members
Pinfold is a group of very talented textile artists. I feel myself very lucky to be part of their group and am learning a lot by taking part in their challenges and being able to chat to the members about the techniques they like to use.

Giving a talk, being part of an exhibition and finishing things

Giving a talk - table full of items to show
A few days after my last post here, I was at Pinfold giving a talk. Since around half of the group had heard me talk about my quilts already, I decided to bring along a wide range of the other bits and pieces I mess around with. You can see a selection of quilts hiding in the quilted bags sitting on the floor. The table holds books and embroideries I have made over the years, a few three dimensional items too - my fish and a couple of teddies. I think it went well. The variety and quantity seemed to surprise people.

Making print blocks
Since the talk, I have been steadily working towards getting items completed for the Pinfold exhibition which took place on Saturday. You can see a few photos of the exhibition here. I have been a member of this group for some months now, but this is the first time I have been able to exhibit with them. The first piece of work being my journal quilts. I had the final four to complete.

The first thing I needed to do was to make some print blocks.

Completed print blocks
Then, after preparing four pieces with a blue gelliplate print, I got the printing done. Different shades of green. The added squares needed to be orange.

Overprinting a gelliplate print
After leaving these pieces to dry, it was time to get on with the free machine embroidery. I really enjoy doing this, using my bright lamps to augment the light from the machine itself.

Free machine work
You can just see the orange squares which have been bondawebbed in place towards the back of this photo.

Completed journal quilts on show
I managed to get the final four JQs finished in time for the exhibition. Here they are, hanging in place. They are in date order with the top line being January, February, March and April. The middle layer are May, June, July and August. The bottom layer has September, October, November and December. These are held together with safety pins, so I really need to sort out whether to permanently link these together.

Display of Whispers challenge books.
This lovely table shows the collection of Pinfold Chinese Whisper Challenge books. My book is right at the very back with my journal detailing the challenge being the orange book beside it.

African quilt peeking around the corner - beautiful challenge quilts by Pinfold members
Pinfold is a group of very talented textile artists. I feel myself very lucky to be part of their group and am learning a lot by taking part in their challenges and being able to chat to the members about the techniques they like to use.